The first new Age of Empires game in over 15 years is coming later this year and there's a lot of hype around it. Until now, though, that hype wasn't based on much but a couple of short trailers and heaps of nostalgia. Now, we can at least ground it in some real gameplay after a brand new reveal by Microsoft during its April showcase event.
In short, it looks good.
Age of Empires is one of the titans of the RTS industry, helping popularize the rock paper scissor combat mechanics, along with fast-paced base building, and strategic and tactical action, in a gorgeous medieval world that is constantly evolving. It's not as epic in scope as something like Empire Earth (and far more focused because of that, in my opinion) nor is it as combat heavy as the Dawn of War or Company of Heroes franchises. For many, Age of Empires, and particularly the second game, is a perfect blend of management and action and Age of Empires IV looks to build on that in some exciting ways.
Not only is it the best looking Age of Empires ever made, by quite some margin, but it sets it in a much grander world, with topography that rises and falls in dramatic fashion. That plays out in not only the way the game looks, but how it plays, giving it an epic scope that wasn't present before.
Much of what we love about the older games is, though, from farming, to hunting, wall building, and unit management. There are also roads, rushing, castles, crenellations, and all the ages of combat that you'd expect from an Age of Empires game. There are also ambush tactics, with line of sight playing an important role, with the option of hiding troops in forests and out of sight behind structures, hills, and fog, which could have a huge effect on game.
Age of Empires IV hits PC sometime this fall.